Reading Parisian Chic is like having a French best friend

Parisian Chic.  A style guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet

This gorgeously entertaining guide to Paris and Parisian Chic has been on my nightstand for a couple of months now.  Ines comes with credentials–she knows her fashion, but it is the charming presentation and great ideas that sell this book.

Sure she’s been named to the International Best Dressed List.   In the 80’s she modeled for Chanel and was the former muse of Karl Lagerfeld.   She still is seen on the runway occasionally while concentrating on the business of fashion for the Roger Vivier brand.   But she is also a busy working French mom.  She lives in an apartment in Paris, and loves to go to cafes and shop.  And her drawings and conversational style is so welcoming and humorous.  I love the advice about the Magnificent Seven items that should be in your closet.  I love the advice  about what she uses for makeup and perfume.  And I love the large section of clothing shops, home decor shops, restaurants and hotel reviews.

If Ines tells you about a shop, she includes sections called The Style, so you know what the shop offers, and The must-have, the one item that Ines either owns or would recommend.  She also includes photos and a section called In a Nutshell, where she mentions some fact about the owner or an opinion about the products.

The reviews are the largest section of the book, but I really bought it for the fashion and beauty advice.  And the fashion advice is fun and inspiring.  Those seven items may be predictable, like a well-cut trench, but her ideas about the right leather jacket, the right pair of jeans and the right cashmere sweater has opened up new looks for me.  I like the idea that less is more, that the french buy quality and then wear the items over and over again.  My closet is bulging with items that are not edited, not all pieces that make me feel happy, except that they are there when I haven’t done the laundry.

Now I have an idea about how to go through the mess and keep the items that work for me.  I am on the search for a simple black dress, as Ines has good ideas on what to wear to different types of events, and whether to pair the converse sneaker, or the ballet flat with what.  Some of these ideas are probably better on Brunettes.  Dark blue sweaters, black dresses, all flatter Ines’ dark hair and olive skin.

Ines promotes the Roger Vivier brand of shoes and on their website,, there are these awesome little videos of Ines going to different parts of the city.  Here you can see her charming personality as well as her Parisian style in action.  As she goes from store to store, you can see her wearing her style of clothing on the street.  She favors a kind of boy wear.  She is 5’11”, and can rock a tiny size of jeans.  She favors rolling up her blouse sleeves over her jacket sleeves.  I’ve tried this look with lots of success.  She suggests wearing two of something, two necklaces, two scarves.  I’ve tried this  too.  I like the feeling of confidence I get wearing the “androgynous” look, mixed with the romance of the”Amelie” / Audrey Hepburn scooter look.  Basically, it is Parisian inspired style Lucky Magazine calls “gamine.”

Toward the back of the book Ines includes ideas on what to wear to a rustic country trip and what to wear to a gallery opening.  And that’s why her book is still circulating on the top of my book reading pile.  I can look to Ines’ advice for any occasion.  It truly is a little french friend to motivate and inspire.


Reading this book has led me to three fabulous websites that show pictures of women wearing great style on the street in France, Italy, New York, Oslo and more.  Try, and

– Janis


About writeinseattle

Two Seattle writers examining the writer's life.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Macarons and books for Francophiles, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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